Now that Christmas is over, there are finally a few moments time to reflect on the past year. 2012 will end in a few days’ time. A lot of terrible things happened this year, some in faraway places that remind us how great a warm bed is, and some right at our doorstep, so close to home that even a warm bed doesn’t feel safe anymore.
But this article isn’t about global issues. This article is just about Saint Paul.
This year, I’ll celebrate the light rail construction wrapping up, giving us our streets back (a construction-free University Avenue especially). I’ll celebrate the grand reopening of the Union Depot, as Saint Paul is now home to the coolest transit hub in the region. I’ll celebrate Bloomberg News placing Saint Paul as the tenth best city to live in. And Lonely Planet showed us love as well, placing the Twin Cities in the top ten US travel destinations for 2013.
While the love for Saint Paul is growing around the country, local pride has been growing as well. Saint Pauliticians came out in a big way in 2012, for example creating a cash mob to support local businesses during the long and tenuous light rail construction. There were more people out and about this year, filling Saint Paul’s bars and restaurants, parks and patios than any I can remember.
I’ll raise my glass to the dedication of lawmakers and average citizens alike in coming together to support Saint Paul and its future. Everyone involved deserves a toast.
So. How to celebrate.
Dinner is a good place to start. You can enjoy a three course meal at FACES, with the festive lights of Mears Park as the backdrop. That’s where you’ll find me. Probably. I may have to make a last minute reservation at Joan’s on the Park, a fairly new Saint Paul restaurant in Highland that has been doing some exceptional things to American cuisine.
And after dinner there will be plenty offered by way of New Year’s Eve party. Newcomer Bullpen Saloon will offer live music, free champagne and party favors. Station 4 has a New Year’s package and, as per usual, a unique selection of music to rock out to. Amsterdam’s NYE Party also promises to be crazy, given their history. Senor Wong and Patrick McGovern’s are also doing “End of the World” parties with DJs and dance floors.
There will be a conga line through the skyway to get to each of these places.
But, in the end, I don’t really care where I end up for the countdown. I’ll be fine as long as I have a drink in hand to toast 2012, and, more importantly, what’s to come in 2013.